Posts Tagged ‘Irish War Memorial’

Today Monday 31th July 2017 is the centenary of the death of Irish poet Francis Ledwidge who died in Flanders during the First World War 1917, it is also the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the 3rd Battle of Ypres in which he was killed or ‘Passchendaele’ as it was known.  Yesterday I attended in uniform the ‘Poetry Reading and Wreath Laying Ceremony with Gerald Dawe – Professor of English and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin in the National War Memorial Park, Islandbridge, Dublin.’ It was a special event organised by the Inchicore Ledwidge Society to honour the Irish soldier-poet Francis Ledwidge.

Being a poet and member of the Irish Defence Forces (a soldier poet) it was important for me to attend and remember Francis Ledwidge 


Michael J. Whelan at the grave of Irish Poet Francis Ledwidge – killed In Action WW1. Photo (c)Michael J. Whelan


This is a poem I wrote some time ago after a visit to Gallipoli where he fought and later to his grave in Flanders, Belgium.




(For Francis Ledwidge, 

Gallipoli -2011)


I cross the world

in search of you,

to walk where you walked,

dream where you dreamed,

same ground – different dawn.


No trenches now only peace.

Where you wrote

I sit to read your poems.

Sparrows sing above these quiet hills

though they didn’t for you.


In the depths of despair you sang

of little fields and robins remembered.

Nature brings you back to life

and I breathe it in,

find you in the landscapes of your words.


Michael J. Whelan



Michael J. Whelan with Professor Gerald Dawe at the ‘Poetry and Wreath Laying Ceremony’ in honour of Irish poet Francis Ledwidge on the centenary of his death in Flanders during the Great War 1917. (Irish War Memorial Gardens 30th July 2017) Photo: (c)Michael J. Whelan




Professor Gerald Dawe addresses the audience at the ‘Poetry and Wreath Laying Ceremony’ event to mark the Centenary of the death of Irish poet Francis Ledwidge during World War One (Irish War Memorial, 30th July 2017) Photo: (c)Michael J. Whelan


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